Written evidence submitted by Mrs Sarah Jones (GRA1439)
I am responding to the call for evidence for the reform of the Gender Recognition Act as a non-binary person born in England and living in Wales. I am responding because I have anecdotal evidence of how I myself, and other non-binary people, would benefit from the GRA’s reform.
I cannot currently apply for a GRC because I am non-binary, and non-binary genders are not currently recognised by UK law.
Even if non-binary genders become recognised by UK law, as things stand I would have to prove that I have been living as a non-binary person for two years in order to obtain a GRC. I would be unable to provide that proof until non-binary genders had been legally recognised for two years. Even then the requirement to prove that I have been living as a non-binary person would be difficult to fulfil because the only documentary evidence available would be the change of my gender on any system my details are held on, and perhaps a change in name to something gender-neutral which I have been considering over the past few months. If I had any gender-affirming surgery it would be limited to a breast reduction, and as such I feel it would be an unnecessary risk to my health, and I’m aware that I’m far from the only non-binary or trans person who will not have surgery and who therefore can never provide evidence of surgery as evidence of gender. It’s often said that extensive evidence is needed to prove your gender to obtain a GRC and I fear I could never meet the strict requirements.
Therefore as a non-binary person, the current GRA does not meet my needs and I feel the current law disrespects me for not recognising my identity.
I would also like to say that the British Medical Association released a statement in support of self-identification for trans and non-binary people, instead of the current requirement for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria to obtain a GRC. If British doctors say that a diagnosis of gender dysphoria is unnecessary then I cannot understand why UK law cannot be changed to remove the requirement.
Thank you for your time.